Making Good Choices…

1 10 2010

Glad I rode my bike...

I like riding my bikes.  I have useful bikes.  They are setup for transportation/utility riding.  Even still it can be easy for me to drive when I’m stressed out and short on time.  Like yesterday I had a ton of work to do and an appointment 6kms away.  As the time got close for the appointment I could hear my inner voice justify the time savings of driving so I could work a bit longer before I left and come back faster.  I was planning a Big Dummy cargo bike run in the evening to help a friend move furniture across town so I also used that to justify driving.

Thankfully I’ve done this enough to know that I never regret biking and that biking is important for my health and happiness.  So I shutdown the complaining/worrying voice and got on my bike.  2 mins later I was smiling and so glad to be pedaling along instead of pushing down on a gas pedal.  It only took me 16mins to get there and I found out the MUP near my house actually goes a lot of the way there [I normally head the opposite direction into town on the MUP].

My trusty LHT...

Going through the mental process of defeating my laziness really demonstrates to me why it is so important to make good choices if you want to establish a healthy lifestyle.  If a guy like me who is into biking can be seduced by the car in a moment of weakness than folks who are just starting out on the path of cycling for transportation are going to have it even tougher.

Here are some suggestions for success:

  • make biking the default option for getting around and justify each car trip
  • have a practical bike ready to roll in good condition
  • have a pannier with tools, lock and your bike clothing close at hand
  • make sure your bike is comfortable
  • pay attention to how you feel after riding to get somewhere vs. driving [use this as motivation]
  • when you are ready to justify driving make sure you’ve prioritized your health and given that enough weight in the decision
  • work out safe/enjoyable bike routes to the areas of town around you that you often travel to

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7 responses

1 10 2010
Ty Smith

Well said Vic!

Though I try to use my bike for all my around town needs, I sometimes do hear the inner voice encouraging my to use the car. Everytime I ignore it, I do feel better. As you say, it is good to remind oneself of the health and psychological benefits of riding the bike versus the car.

There is also the money issue. I remember a couple years back when gas had skyrocked to nearly $5/gallon, and my friends were complaining about spending $100-$200 a month on gas, and I commented, “Hmm…. I think that is what I spend in a year,” and the looks I got from them were a combination of confusion, envy, and disbalief…

It’s good to ride the bike!

1 10 2010
Chris

My bike and choosing to ride it to work every day had helped me loose 40 lbs so far this year.

1 10 2010
DerrickP

I’m with you 100%. I was being strongly tempted this week to skip the bike commute one day. As I was playing out the scenarios in my head I remembered my car wasn’t even at home. I had parked it somewhere else earlier in the week. It made the choice to ride a bit easier :)

I was still very glad that I chose two wheels, though. Like you said… I never regret it.

1 10 2010
Joe

I love riding my bike and never regret it once I’m on the bike and rolling down the road, but I still have trouble motivating myself to ride some days. Strange stuff and very frustrating.

1 10 2010
Brian Ogilvie

Nicely put! My regular commute is 5 km/3 miles each way and I sometimes find myself cutting it close and being tempted to take the car. I find it’s helpful to have a bag with rain gear ready to go, so that if I hesitate because of the weather (especially if it’s nice but forecasted to rain), I can grab my rain gear instead of driving.

1 10 2010
Making Good Choices… « 42 Bikes

[...] Making Good Choices… October 1, 2010 by dave42w A good post with advice on how to help choose to cycle rather than drive: Making Good Choices… « The Lazy Randonneur. [...]

9 10 2010
Cycling As A Lifestyle | The Grand Panjandrum

[...] Vik’s advice (and sound it is!): Here are some suggestions for success: [...]

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